Wednesday, August 8, 2012
After fireworks ignited several grassfires and destroyed a home during the July Fourth weekend, Hutchinson city officials have had enough.
"I received a lot of email. People were concerned," said Mayor David Razo. "They didn't mind the fireworks, but it was just those items falling down from the sky on their roof, so they were afraid."
Razo directed the city staff to prepare an ordinance to ban aerial fireworks and other fireworks that shoot sparks more than 6 feet in any direction.
Fire Chief Kim Forbes says he is nearly 100 percent sure that fireworks started a fire that did $500,000 damage to a home on July 5. The department also extinguished 33 grass fires on July 4.
""It's almost like a public display in some neighborhoods and that wasn't the concept," Forbes said.
In 2005, Hutchinson changed its ordinance to allow aerial fireworks to be shot off on private property. Representatives of two fireworks dealers asked the council not to impose the ban but their suggestions were rejected.
The city plans to contact the Reno County Commission and South Hutchinson City Council to discuss having identical fireworks ordinance.
""I don't like it either," Razo said. "I like fireworks. I grew up with them, but we have to do something."